Who are the Docents?
Museum docents play a vital role at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Docents are knowledgeable about the varied exhibitions at the museum and its permanent collection and serve a variety of roles such as providing information about exhibits and artists to museum visitors and guiding tours.
Docents are available to all visitors
at these times each week:
Tuesdays: 11 am - Noon
Wednesdays: 2 - 3 pm
Thursdays: 11 am - Noon
Fridays: 2 - 3 pm
Saturdays: 1 - 2 pm
Sundays: 1 - 2 pm
Docent-led group tours of 10 or more visitors
may be scheduled in advance by contacting
A 2-week advance notice is required for group tour reservations.
Our special admission fee for groups is $5.00 per person.
Are you interested in Becoming a CCMoA Docent?
The Cape Cod Museum of Art is seeking interested art enthusiasts for the next Docent Training Cohort.
A docent should have an active interest in art, enjoy meeting new people, be open to learning about the exhibitions throughout the year and a willingness to be a guide for visitors to the museum. No formal art background is required. The museum’s active pool of docents ranges from art appreciators who have a general interest in learning about the art world to active artists.
Please print and complete this application.
Return to the Docent Training Facilitators via email or return to the museum:
You will be contacted for an interview.
Meet The Docents
Peter Adams grew up in Boston and attended college there. He remembers going to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts on Tuesday evenings, where he met many interesting people and saw a great deal of beautiful art. His appreciation of the arts extends to his family: He is the very proud father of a ballerina with the New York City Ballet. Peter has been a Cape resident since 1976. He is married to a Cape Codder and conveniently lives within walking distance of the Museum.
Nikki Alexander, a former cosmetics and fashion copywriter, washed ashore at the Cape Cod Museum of Art from the isle of Manhattan. An artist herself, she enjoys sharing her love of art as both a Docent and a Museum Educator. Her favorite museum activity is leading a class she calls “Color Me Creative,” offered to dementia patients and their caretakers. “We have so much fun discussing a work from the permanent collection and creating our own coloring book version,” she says. As a Docent, Nikki appreciates the opportunity to delve into the lives and works of the exhibitions’ artists and then exchange insights with museum visitors. She adds, “I’m not about lecturing. Some of my best experiences are when my museum guests and I have a conversation that deepens our appreciation of the art – we learn so much from each other!”
Maureen Callahan retired to Cape Cod from upstate New York, where she had enjoyed a career in business as a senior bank executive and served as President and Executive Vice President of two non-profit foundations. She has always had a strong interest in art and has pursued the development of her own art for over twenty-five years. She is a member of and has exhibited in juried and member shows at a number of Cape Cod art venues including Cape Cod Museum of Art. In addition to being a Docent since 2013, she has supported the arts through her nine years of service on the Brewster Cultural Council and as a Cape Cod Museum of Art Trustee since 2021.
Maria Consoli Ianzito relocated to Cape Cod from Longmeadow, MA over twenty-five years ago. Once on Cape, she reinvented herself from being a teacher of history to pursuing art, which she had done in college. She has studied with master teachers including Jean Tucker, Theresa Welsh Baksa, Loretta Finney and Charles Slovak. Her style evolved from impressionist to simple colorist, her goal being to evoke vivid memories and harmony with the world around her as she plays with color. Her work has appeared in juried shows at the Chatham Cultural Center and has won prizes at the Cape Cod Art Association. She also has pieces in the art collection of Cape Cod Hospital. She has taught art privately and participated in art demonstrations for local organizations, including the Yarmouth Art Guild.
Barbara Cole became a Docent in 2012. She has always loved the arts and is especially passionate about music. Her membership in the Chatham Chorale has afforded her many years of joy and a continued love of learning works of the great Masters. Barbara grew up in Springfield, MA, and graduated from UMASS, Amherst, with a BA in Education. She participated in graduate level courses throughout her twenty-eight year career at the South Yarmouth Elementary School, retiring in 2001. She has a sincere interest in how artists think, live, work and thrive. She enjoys sharing the history of one of America’s major art colonies, Provincetown, and the works by outstanding artists associated with the Cape and the Islands.
Diane Depczenski joined the Docents in 2018. Growing up with easy access to New York City's Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Diane’s passion for the breadth of the arts began at a very early age. Over the years, her penchant for lifelong learning led Diane to live and travel extensively in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. A washashore since the early 1980's, Diane has been an active member of the Dennis Conservation Trust and is a volunteer at the Cape Playhouse. When she isn’t traveling or exploring new developments in nutrition and the culinary arts, Diane can be found raising funds for the causes and institutions that have captured her heart and soul.
Carolyn Duch joined the Docents in 2013. Originally from New Jersey, she fulfilled a childhood dream by moving to the Cape in 2007.
Her work history includes careers at Dun & Bradstreet (Director in Receivables Management) and Johnson & Johnson (Compliance/Contracts oversight in Global Marketing). She also enjoyed doing voiceover work. She served on several Boards of Directors, including for a local theater. Interests include music, theater, and art, especially photography. Carolyn is the Recording Secretary for the Cape Cod Museum of Art Docents, and the point person and editor for Docent-curated exhibits, of which there have been more than ten.
She and artist husband Gary met while volunteering here at the Museum, and together they emceed and helped to orchestrate two Fashion Show fundraisers at the Wequassett to benefit the Museum.
Elinor (Ellie) Freedman has served as a Docent at the Cape Cod Museum of Art since 2013, giving her the opportunity to share her love of the storied history of art on the Cape, help curate exhibitions, and facilitate Docent training. Having served as a teacher and school administrator for many years, in communities north of Boston, she enjoys the educational aspect of her Docent involvement. Locally, Ellie coordinates a Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod scholarship program, awarded annually to students aspiring to careers in the arts. Ellie also enjoys creating art, pastel being her preferred medium. Her works have appeared in Cape galleries and numerous juried exhibitions in New England and New York. She is a juried Master Artist at the Cape Cod Art Center, a juried member of the National Association of Women Artists and an Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America. Elinor was recently elected as a juried artist member of the Salmagundi Club of NY.
Barbara Gray has made art appreciation an important element in her life for many years. A native of Pittsburgh, she spent her high school years in London, and as a teenager traveled frequently throughout Europe, where she enjoyed some of the finest art museums in the world. She studied art history at Penn State, trained and served as a Docent at the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, MA, and volunteered in the “Art Goes to School” program when her children were in elementary school. A Realtor for twenty-nine years, Barbara and her husband retired to the Cape in 2012. She became a Docent in 2013, and she also volunteers here as a Museum Educator in the “Art & Conversation” Alzheimer’s program.
Cathy Hagopian grew up in a creative family in upstate New York. Her father was an advertising Art Director at General Electric in Schenectady. She was exposed to art through attendance at art shows and visits to museums. In 1967 her family opened The Poppy Shop on Route 6A on the Cape. The shop featured many unique items. Following some time taken for travel, she returned to the Cape where she now works with her husband at their business, Bass River Shoe Repair. Cathy has been involved with the Cape Cod Museum of Art for many years, and is thankful to be learning about the artists through the Docent program.
Mary Ann Harward joined the Docents in 2018. She grew up in upstate New York and lived most of her adult life in Connecticut. She earned a BA in Education from Potsdam University in New York, a graduate degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut and a Juris Doctor degree from Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, MA. Mary Ann and her husband Kevin retired to Cape Cod in 2014. Prior to retirement, she was a Teacher, Financial Director, and Chief Administrator at the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. Ever since she was a young girl, Mary Ann has appreciated, supported and actively participated in the arts, especially the creative arts. She previously made silver jewelry and presently creates beaded jewelry that she sells on Cape Cod. She enjoys drawing, watercolor painting, and taking lots of art classes.
Priscilla Hutchinson’s ties to Cape Cod began at an early age while spending part of each summer in Dennis. Her return as a full time resident in 2007 brought her full circle to a place she has always considered home. Priscilla graduated from UMass Amherst where she majored in art. Following a number of years of teaching art, she studied interior design at the New York School of Interior Design. She combined her love of art and history to establish an antiques business that she operated for forty years while living in a variety of places, most recently in Wiscasset, Maine. Visiting museums and galleries wherever she has lived or traveled has deepened her understanding and appreciation of the fine and decorative arts.
Deborah E. Blackman Jacobs, a Docent at CCMoA for many years, is an impressionist-representational painter who works in oils, watercolors and acrylics. An essential activity for her is meeting weekly with artist friends to paint together, encourage each other, “break bread” with one another and solve the problems of the world. Deborah delights in her Docent role, sharing information about materials, styles and art history. She graduated from Brooklyn College - City University of New York, and did her graduate work at Boston University. She loves studying, reading and taking classes such as art history, techniques of the old masters and ancient Chinese and Japanese literature. She is a retired psychologist.
Judy McElroy, a retired nurse, worked in major teaching hospitals in Boston for over forty years, in both staff and management positions. Areas of practice included Emergency Critical Care and OR. She traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East and India in the mid 1970's. This exposure, plus a lifelong interest in art and architecture, led to her earning a degree in Art History. She joined the Docent team in 2013, providing her with an opportunity to explore the rich heritage of Cape Cod art.
Christina Petruska and her husband became full-time Cape residents in 2010. They have been active Museum members and volunteers since 2005. Christina is Vice President Emerita of Rider University in New Jersey, where she was a member of the administration for over twenty-five years. She received a BA in Political Science from Rutgers University and spent her junior year abroad in Oxford, England, giving her an opportunity to travel widely and visit some of the most extraordinary museums in the world. Christina has been an avid art lover since childhood, and is delighted to continue her learning about the rich and storied art environment on the Cape. She served as Docent Chair for eight years.
Barbara Potzka earned a teaching degree in Elementary Education, with certification as an Art Teacher. She proudly completed a thirty-four year career in elementary education. In 2012, Barbara was trained as a Docent at Cape Cod Museum of Art, and she has embraced the challenges of learning about art, history, artists and techniques. Barbara served as a co-facilitator for the Docent training program. She continues to enjoy meeting museum guests and sharing in their enthusiasm for the marvelous and ever changing exhibits.
Karen Pryce moved to the Cape in 2010. One of her first endeavors was to immerse herself in the Docent training program at CCMoA. Although she had no prior knowledge of the breadth of art on the Cape, she quickly learned what a wealth of material there is here. Karen enjoys sharing this love with fellow Docents and visitors to the Museum. Karen earned her BA in psychology at the University of Vermont. Her work history is varied: She has been a lending officer, financial aid officer, and interior decorator for such major companies as Thomasville, Hitchcock and Ethan Allan. Karen has since retired and is pursuing her artistic side by plein air pairing with friends. Karen is married with two children.
Ann Wolf became a Docent in 2014. A native of South Weymouth, MA, she enjoys yoga, golf, biking, and traveling. She attended Marymount College, where an art appreciation course led to a greater interest in the subject. She has a Masters in Education from Bank Street College of Education and a CAGS degree in Special Education. Spending six years in New York gave her many opportunities to visit museums and learn more about art. In 1981, Ann joined the Dennis-Yarmouth School System as a Special Education teacher. In collaboration with the art teacher there, she often accompanied students to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and she shared in their enthusiastic responses to viewing, in person, the paintings they had been studying. Her role as a Docent provides her a great means to continue to learn about and enjoy art.
Christine Young joined the Docents in 2018. Previously she lived in Somerville and Cambridge, where she was a Realtor for many years. She also had an interior design business, Panache Interiors. She has always taken an interest in the arts. For eight years she was a Museum Guide at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln. During that time, she developed a greater appreciation for abstract and contemporary art. Since living on Cape, Christine has taken many art appreciation classes, where she has studied the Provincetown Art Colony and other Cape Cod artists. Christine arranges artist studio visits for the Docents as part of their continuing education. A world traveler, Christine visits museums wherever she travels.
Barbara Hoos, a retired Occupational Therapist who worked in a school system with children with disabilities has been an active volunteer at the Cape Cod Museum of Art for several years, serving at the reception desk, helping with museum events, and introducing art to school groups who visit the museum. Her love of art began at an early age when her mother often took her to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; and she studied art in college for a brief period before switching to Occupational Therapy. While working as an OTR, Barbara used her creative abilities to design many of her own projects. She is passionate about engaging her grandchildren in art experiences and helping them develop an appreciation for the arts including music as well as the visual arts. Barbara sews, knits, crochets, loves photography, and has taken classes in a variety of media at the Cape Cod Museum of Art. She has visited the Cape since childhood and finally moved here permanently following the death of her husband. Besides doing art, she enjoys visiting galleries and learning about the history of art and artists on the Cape.
JoAnn Phillips comes to the Cape Cod Museum of Art with a desire to learn as much as she can about the Cape Cod arts community. Her docent training has opened a new world for her, and she is soaking in the information like a sponge. During her long career, she happily taught language arts to middle and high school students in Los Angeles, CA and Wilmington, MA. In retirement, she has enjoyed volunteering with the Lower Cape Outreach Council and the Cape Repertory Theatre. Her other passions include singing with the Outer Cape Chorale, reading, and playing pickleball every chance she gets. She and her husband live in Brewster and cherish visits from their children and grandchildren, who live far from the Cape.
Shawn Nelson Dahlstrom is an artist as well as an art curator. Her education includes a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and a BS from Boston University. To celebrate Women’s History month 2014, Dahlstrom curated the very successful collaborative exhibition, ALL ABOUT sEVEn at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, encompassing 49 Cape Cod women artists, ages 22-82, in a large variety of media. In 2011, Dahlstrom also curated the exhibition, “America the Beautiful, a Collaboration between Painters and Weavers”, shown at the Boston State House, Cahoon Museum, Cape Cod Museum of Art and Historic Highfield Hall. In 2009, Dahlstrom had a solo exhibition at Cape Cod Museum of Art, “Altering Nature”. Dahlstrom’s paintings have also been exhibited at the Yale Creative Art Workshop, the Salmagundi Club, NY, Duxbury Art Museum, the Boston State House, the Copley Society, Provincetown Art Association, Cahoon Museum, Heritage Museum, Sandwich, MA and Historic Highfield Hall, Falmouth, MA. In her artist statement, Shawn Nelson Dahlstrom states simply “Making art has a dynamic that focuses my active, curious mind as I search for the right color and shape that fits into the puzzle of my painting. The success of my work can be measured in the emotional response of the viewer”.
Judy Hadley and her husband Jack now live in Eastham on the Outer Cape, having moved from Arlington, VA, across the river from Washington, DC. She is delighted to be joining the docent corps in 2023, continuing 7 years or so of serving as a docent for school groups at the National Gallery of Art. For a few of those years, she also served as a Visitor Experience volunteer, helping to orient visitors to the gallery. So, helping visitors engage with art, and learning from them as well, has been a major part of her life, and has deepened her appreciation and enthusiasm for human creativity in all its expressions. She holds out hope that art can serve to bridge differences and is looking forward to learning more about diverse communities on Cape Cod.
Gina Lowe has always loved art and her bicoastal life has afforded her access to many great museums. She grew up in Pasadena, California and made frequent visits to the Huntington Library. Georgetown University enticed her to move to Washington, DC, where she earned her degree in Languages and Linguistics. Following graduation, she had a career in sales and then taught at the elementary school level, where she especially enjoyed teaching art classes. The DC area also allowed her to enjoy many art exhibitions at the excellent museums in the DC area (National Gallery, Hirschhorn, Phillips Collection, Hillwood Estate, Glenstone, American Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum). She has been married to her husband, Aaron, for 38 years, and raised two sons while living in Silver Spring, Maryland (just outside of Washington). Her other interests include architecture, traveling, history, cooking and music. Recently relocated full time to the Cape, she began as a docent for the Cape Cod Museum of Art in the spring of 2023.